News culture The Knights of the Zodiac: and compared to Dragonball Evolution, what does it look like?
The memory of the film adaptation of Dragon Ball is still fresh and to say the least painful for all fans of the manga imagined by Akira Toriyama. The announcement of a Live Action film The Knights of the Zodiac could only awaken this old wound and make the followers of the Sanctuary fear the worst. Is Knights of the Zodiac the worthy heir to Dragonball Evolution or on the contrary a good surprise? Moviegoers are about to blast their cosmos.
- The Knights of the Zodiac in a nutshell
- Pire que Dragon Ball Evolution ?
- A (too) free adaptation
The Knights of the Zodiac in a nutshell
The Knights of the Zodiac is a film directed by Tomasz Bagiński (The Witcher The Wolf’s Nightmare) from a screenplay by Josh Campbell (Cloverfield Lane), Matt Stuecken (Cloverfield Lane) and Kiel Murray (Raya and the Last Dragon). This live-action feature film freely adapts the manga written and illustrated by Masami Kurumada. Knights of the Zodiac from its original title even offers the services of several big names in Hollywood cinema, starting with Sean Bean, Mark Dacascos and Famke Janssen. The cast is completed by up-and-coming actors and actresses including Mackenryu, Madison Iseman and Diego Tinoco who have distinguished themselves in the past in Pacific Rim Uprising, Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle and Teen Wolf respectively. Here is the official synopsis for Knights of the Zodiac:
Seiya, a teenager with a strong character, is used to participating in fights to earn enough to survive on the streets, while looking for his sister who has been kidnapped. During a fight, he unwittingly taps into unsuspected mystical powers and finds himself propelled into a world where he will encounter knights in armor, drawing their power from an ancient magical training and Athena, a reincarnated goddess who needs his protection. If he wants to survive, he will have to face his destiny and sacrifice everything to take his rightful place among the Knights of the Zodiac. -Sony Pictures
The cast of the movie Knights of the Zodiac:
- Sean Bean (Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings) – Alman Kido
- Mark Dacascos (Crying Freeman, John Wick Parabellum) – Mylock
- Madison Iseman (Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle) – Sienna
- Famke Janssen (X-Men) – Vander Guraad
- Mackenryu (One Piece, Pacific Rim Uprising) – Seiya
- Nick Stahl (Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines, Sin City) – Cassios
- Diego Tinoco (On My Block, Teen Wolf) – Nero / Phoenix
The Knights of the Zodiac will be released on May 24, 2023 at the cinema in France.
Pire que Dragon Ball Evolution ?
It is now time to answer the question that burns the lips of all those directly or indirectly interested in Tomasz Bagiński’s new achievement. Does The Knights of the Zodiac (2023) achieve the feat of being worse than Dragonball Evolution? The answer is one word: NO! Be careful, this Live Action adaptation of Saint Seiya gets its feet in the carpet more than once, but the critics are unanimous. Knights of the Zodiac from its original title knocks out the meteorite that crashed into dark rooms in 2009 without a shadow of a doubt.
According to industry professionals and other scholars of the 7th Art, The Knights of the Zodiac dominates Dragonball Evolution head and shoulders. On RottenTomatoes, Protectors of Athena has a score of 25% versus 15% for Z Warriors, and the same is true on Metacritic with 35% versus 28%. The slap is all the more scathing on Letterboxd – a social network for film lovers – where the live action adaptation of Masami Kurumada’s work receives a 1.9/5 (38%) against 0.8/5 (16%) for that of Akira Toriyama.
A (too) free adaptation
The Knights of the Zodiac is a loose adaptation of the manga and the original animated series. Tomasz Bagiński and the creative teams working on this project took enormous, nay, gigantic liberties with the source material. It even becomes tricky to find the essence of “Saint Seiya”. Still, some of the main characters are definitely present, and the same goes for the concept of the cosmos as well as the armor. Nevertheless, everything seems to have been altered, transformed… “North-Americanized”.
This Live Action film is openly inspired by the comic strip at the origin of the myth, but not only. The writers are reimagining whole sections of the story and also digging into the Netflix original series to the chagrin of fans who had mostly rejected it. Finally, there emerges from this feature film which reinvents the legend of the Knights of the Zodiac a tenacious feeling of having knowingly missed its subject. The noticeable absences of several Bronze Knights and of any notion of Sanctuary alone testify to a desire to reclaim the saga, even if it means (too) moving away from it.
For the rest, starting with the visuals, the filmic object screened in the cinema at the end of May 2023 alternates between the honest and the perfectible, in particular for everything related to special effects and the design of armor. The first cities sometimes lack details while the costumes struggle to get rid of their “cosplay” label. We should salute the fights at the start of the film which – deprived of supernatural powers – rely on their choreography and dynamic editing to transpose the characters’ martial prowess into live action.
The Knights of the Zodiac is clearly not the cinematic catastrophe announced (even expected), but neither is it the faithful and respectful adaptation secretly hoped for by followers of the Shonen Spirit.